Locally developed ERP is a Happening Business

Applications can be customized as required

ERP and accounting software may be split between the big multinationals and the personal and small business desktop application, but one local company is scaling to both ends of the business spectrum.

Sydney-based Happen Business was founded by Paul K Berger in 2001 as a commercial software venture that spun out of a previous computer support company.

Berger used to run a low-level hardware repair business with about 35 engineers and the company needed a way to cope with thousands of service jobs at a time.

The company developed Job Information Management, or JIM, for DOS which grew into a full ERP and accounting package and eventually commercialized into what is now Jim2, Happen Business' flagship product.

Berger believes Jim2 is different to other ERP applications in that it came from the fundamental business process side which makes it "quite unique".

Jim2 can be customized to meet customers' needs, and Happen Business does implementation and training to support the product's deployment.

Happen Business is based in Sydney with 13 staff and five full-time developers. Jim2 is developed in Delphi for Microsoft's SQL Server database. However, some of the newer applications are being developed in .Net.

The client application is also Windows-based.

"ERP is difficult to do Web-based, with CRM you can get away with it," Berger said.

"We've made it easier to move from MYOB to Jim2, which does full multicurrency, and since it started when the GST started we didn't have to deal with any legacy."

Jim2 is a real-time accounting application and not batch oriented, and can also be used as a stand-alone package.

Happen Business was not venture funded and now generates $1 million per year to self-fund its R&D activities.

Some 60 percent of Jim2 customers are in the IT sector, including Leading Edge Computers, which recently developed an e-commerce system in conjunction with IT distributor Ingram Micro.

Most of Leading Edge Computers member businesses used either MYOB or QuickBooks, but according to the company's general manager, Ross Whitelaw, they were "unsatisfactory" due to their lack of support for the services side of the business.

Happen Business integrated the Jim2 Business Engine accounting and workflow software into Ingram Micro's reseller e-commerce Web site, TechLink, allowing Leading Edge Computers stores to view real-time stock pricing, product availability, and place orders direct from Ingram Micro's warehouse.

All up, Happen Business has about 200 customers all around Australia ranging from small businesses to large enterprises.

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Rodney Gedda

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